21 Mar 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on LGBTI Rights


Lives are ruined by shame and stigma. LGBT lessons in schools are vital
The Guardian, 20 Mar 2019

One of the most dangerous and destructive things in the world is shame. Shame can burrow into you so deep that it shrinks the brain and constricts the heart.
Right now, a “row” – although it is not a row, which makes it sound harmless – is continuing between the teachers and parents of certain primary schools in parts of Birmingham and Manchester. The issue is that sex and relationship education is now part of the curriculum, with primary school children taught about healthy adult relationships and sex education compulsory in secondary schools, including LGBT relationships. Some parents, mainly from Muslim backgrounds, have objected to this. WhatsApp groups have been set up. Loudspeakers have been bought.


EyeWitnessNews, 20 Mar 2019

Botswana’s High Court is considering a challenge to the provisions of the penal code criminalising consensual same-sex relations in the country. It will hand down its judgment in June. The challenge raises similar legal issues as the one pending at the Kenya High Court, which is due for a decision in May.
Same sex relations are outlawed under Botswana’s penal code. These prohibitive sections were inherited from the colonial penal code of Bechuanaland, as Botswana was then known.


Japan: Compelled Sterilization of Transgender People
Human Rights Watch, 19 Mar 2019

Japan’s government should stop forcing transgender people to be surgically sterilized if they want legal recognition of their gender identity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Requiring a medical intervention as a condition of having their gender identity legally recognized violates Japan’s human rights obligations and runs counter to international medical standards.
The 84-page report, “‘A Really High Hurdle’: Japan’s Abusive Transgender Legal Recognition Process,” documents how Japan’s Gender Identity Disorder Special Cases (GID) Act harms transgender people who want to be legally recognized but cannot or do not want to undergo irreversible medical procedures like sterilization.


Sex Education Under Fire Again in Poland
Human Rights Watch, 19 Mar 2019

In an apparent attempt to boost its popularity ahead of upcoming elections, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party is once again scapegoating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and sexual and reproductive health.
After Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski, a member of opposition party Civic Platform, pledged to support LGBT people and ensure the city’s sex education curriculum includes teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity, Law and Justice Party leader Jaraslow Kaczyński called this an attack on families and warned it would cause “sexualization of kids.”


Trans debate rages around the world, pitting LGBT+ community against itself
Reuters, 15 Mar 2019

 As British politicians wrestle with Brexit, Britain’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community - like others around the world - is grappling with a potential split of its own.
Can the coalition of allies, which traces its roots back to the early days of gay liberation in the 1960s, survive in its current form?
Caught in the crossfire between trans activists and feminists over the nature of what it is to be a woman, calls for a break-up of the longstanding LGBT+ alliance back to its constituent elements are starting to emerge.
At the heart of the increasingly toxic debate is whether trans rights are compatible with those of other women, particularly in terms of access to single-sex spaces, such as rape crisis centers or women’s refuges.